By Wren Almitra
2016 has been chock-full of great Women, Land & Legacy Learning Sessions (educational and networking events) across the state. The year kicked-off with our southwest WLL team providing a culinary gathering at Sauced in Red Oak, IA where participants got to learn about farm-to-table and using home-grown produce and herbs in their cooking. The Des Moines/Louisa team sponsored the highly rated play, Map of My Kingdom, which explores the dynamic and often difficult conversations Iowa families face in making decisions about farm transition. Meanwhile, the Iowa Co. and the Buena Vista/Pocahontas teams each brought speakers in to discuss grain marketing.
The spring saw programming on edible landscaping in Jackson Co., a Women, Land & Legacy webinar hosted by Iowa Learning Farms, a pollinators meeting in Cerro Gordo Co., and a soil health meeting in Mitchell Co., which was a collaboration of the Mitchell Co. WLL team and the Women, Food & Ag. Network’s Women Caring for the Land program.
Summer was ripe with WLL programming, with an all-day conference on legacy planning in Iowa Co., a tour of Red Earth gardens as well as workshops on farm safety and cover crops in Tama Co., and healthcare finances in Winnebego/Worth counties, among many others. The season wrapped-up with the 2nd annual Johnson Co. WLL Farm Crawl.
Finally, three new teams, Calhoun/Sac counties, Madison Co. and Dubuque Co., formally joined WLL with their first event, a Listening Session, while Palo Alto and Emmet counties formed their local team and are making plans for their Listening Session for winter 2017.
In short, 2016 has been a busy year for Women, Land & Legacy, with our local teams reaching over 1,000 participants through 30 state-wide events! In addition to the information learned at these events, women were able to network with other women in their communities, connect with agencies that can provide assistance and resources for their farm decisions, and engage in a huge effort to empower women involved in agriculture and land stewardship. There are still several opportunities in 2016 to participate in a local event near you. Check our events calendar and please stay tuned for another year of great women-powered outreach across Iowa in 2017!